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​During Farnborough International Air Show 2014, Saab, for the first time ever, unveiled a full scale replica of Gripen NG. Here are the snapshots. 

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The Saab stand with full scale replica of Gripen NG​

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General Bydén from the Swedish Air Force getting a tour of the Gripen NG cockpit at Farnborough International Airshow

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Saab pilot Richard Ljungberg showing Gripen to Brazilian delegation

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Miguel Svensson (Saab) discusses Gripen's range of weapons systems

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Gripen NG receives a lot of attention

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Taking a photo souvenir​

Get to know more about Saab's participation at the Farnborough International Air Show here.

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“It felt like I was in one of the world’s most modern fighters, perhaps the most modern. I have absolutely no doubt that Brazil has made the right choice. It is impressive how much information the pilot has at his fingertips. It feels like you are at the spearhead, fully equipped to defend your country”, says FAB pilot Major Renato Leal Leite who recently flew the Swedish fighter aircraft.

According to a news report in Globo.com, Major Leite is the first Brazilian pilot to fly the Gripen since Brazil’s announcement that Saab was chosen to provide fighter aircraft to meet the FX2 requirement. Major Leite took the test flight in June this year when a FAB delegation visited the Makhado air base in South Africa.

“Gripen comes with a range of sensors and radar and infrared equipment, which serve as the pilot’s eyes. I can easily see what is going on outside, and identify things. The old planes did not have this capability. The pilot had to make an effort to understand what was going on outside”, he says.

Major Leite was also impressed with the electronic display suite in the cockpit and the air-to-air data link which allows real-time exchange of tactical data within and between cooperating air units.

“Gripen provides clear data in real time. It tells me if there is a friendly or enemy aircraft out there. If I make a mistake, it understands my intention and corrects the error. When you are in a fighter, ...

The development of Gripen E, the most cost-efficient and modern state-of-the-art multirole fighter jet is underway. From a more powerful engine to an enhanced avionics system, there are many new features that make Gripen E a class apart. 

Saab's Chief Test Pilot Richard Ljungberg talks to IHS Jane's about various features of Gripen E, explaining how it is different from the aircraft’s earlier versions.​

​Lennart Sindahl, Head of Aeronautics Business Segment, Saab AB, tells the Gripen story at the Farnborough International Air Show 2014. 

"We are at a very good point right now. We have just introduced the version 20 of Gripen C/D. We are enhancing the air to air, the air to ground and the radar capabilities. Gripen C/D is the most capable fighter you can buy today," he says.

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Thanks to the fast paced development in the field of defense technology, missiles are becoming increasingly smart. Today’s air forces therefore need a solution that equips them with the capability to counter the latest in missile technology.

Enhanced Survivability Technology (ESTL), whose maiden flight on Gripen was carried out in June this year, offers effective missile approach warning to counter RF and IR threats of the future.

ESTL provides covert sustainable pre-emptive dispensing, missile warning, forward firing of flares and cocktail dispensing. All these capabilities have been incorporated into the form-factor of a missile utilizing the well established AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM interfaces and characteristics for lean aircraft integration.

ESTL which can handle up to eight threats at a time, brings together several components from Saab's countermeasures portfolio, including BOL and BOP dispensers, integrated defensive aids system (IDAS) system as well as the defensive aids control unit.

“ESTL offers enhanced survivability in combat and conflict situations. Traditional Countermeasures may encounter difficulties with the latest generation of AAMs and SAMs, but the ESTL concept includes a module of forward firing flares. This, together with the missile approach warning sensors and an optional chaff capability, makes ESTL a powerful shield against the latest missile developments,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, Head of Business Unit Electronic Warfare Systems at Saab. 

Read more about ESTL here

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Gallium Nitride (GaN), probably the most important semiconductor material since silicon, will be used by Saab on the Gripen E aircraft, reports Defense News.

Gallium Nitride has long been seen as a powerful alternative to gallium arsenide which is currently popular for making modules for AESA radars.

The cost of Gallium Nitride has been a deterrent in its use in ground radars. However, with the demonstration of successful prototyping of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies by US firms like Raytheon, things are changing.

“The substance will be used in jammers and passive warning systems, boosting efficiency by 25 percent,” said Ulf Nilsson, the head of the Gripen program.

In addition to enabling future 360 sensor coverage, GaN technologies will also increase the defended area and decrease the time to detect, discriminate and engage threats.

According to Lennart Sindahl, Saab’s deputy CEO, Saab is now ahead of the curve on GaN.

“Our worst competitor said ‘you are now six years ahead of us,’” Sindahl said.

Read the full story: Gallium Nitride Gets Fighter Debut With Saab​

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Gripen E’s development is in full swing and Saab is showcasing the fighter aircraft at various events across the globe. The interest in Gripen has been unprecedented. However, this has not slackened Saab’s efforts for the continued upgradation process of Gripen C/D, reports Flightglobal.

Saab maintains that any customer that buys Gripen today will be able to upgrade and enhance their aircraft when needed. Gripen aircraft has been developed on the principle of ‘Designed to be Upgraded’. Also, instead of building an aircraft and then conducting a major and very costly mid-life upgrade, Saab makes smaller critical improvements every two to three years. 

With Gripen, one can adapt and shift focus when desired, Saab says. The upgrades, called as Materiel System or MS, can be adapted to emerging requirements. The Swedish defense and security company has completed "edition 20" of its updates for the C/D models, which will become operational in 2015. 

MS 20 block upgrade includes improved radar modes; a digital close air support capability; increased Link 16 connectivity; civil navigation enhancements; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection for the pilot, night-capable operations using the SPK 39 Modular Reconnaissance Pod II; and a ground collision avoidance system (GCAS).

At the recently held Farnborough International air show 2014, Lennart Sindahl, head of aeronautics, Saab said, “This is an aircraft that will fly until 2030 at least. The Gripen C/D is not something of the past, it is something of the future and we foresee more customers coming ...

Pilot2.jpgPilots have their own set of jargons and expressions. Here are some of the common terms used by top guns.

Hands On Throttle And Stick

Modern fighters have every imaginable control function mounted on either the stick (right hand) or the throttle quadrant (left hand), so that the pilot need not fumble around in the cockpit.

Head-Up Display

A transparent screen mounted on the dashboard on which pertinent data from flight instruments and weapons systems are projected. The HUD eliminates the need to look down into the cockpit to read instruments.

Identification Friend or Foe

An electronic means of identifying aircraft, part of the military's transponder system that tells other jets and ground crews if a dude is a good guy or a bad guy.

Read the full story to learn more about the lingo: Pilot Language​

Gripen4.jpgGripen E represents that rarest of capability improvements, one that does not come with a correspondingly hefty price tag, says Angad Singh in an exclusive report on the fighter aircraft which featured as the cover story “The Gripen Forges Ahead In Super Mode“ for the May-June issue of Vayu magazine.​.

Gripen E development, right from the start has been focused on producing an aircraft that combines high performance and low cost. For example, GE F414 engine, with its high performance and reliability was the obvious choice for the new generation aircraft. Also, sensor development for Gripen E focuses on leveraging a mix of innovative solutions and proven technologies which eventually keep the cost down.

Gripen E would have sensors that are enhanced, not just in comparison to its earlier variants, but also to contemporary fighters worldwide. It would also feature GaN-based EW suite that provides tremendous situational awareness and BriteCloud which is an onboard active decoy from Selex.

All this, according to the report, results in an aircraft that looks much the same – and feels much the same – but brings a quantum leap in performance and combat ability to the type.

Saab has not only drawn on its experience from the Gripen A/B to C/D conversion programme, but also on industry best practices acquired from manufacturing work done for Airbus and Boeing commercial products.

More emphasis on pre-production design work has led to reduced parts count for the new airframe, and shorter component manufacturing times, making each aircraft less ...

become-pilot-large-x2.pngGripen pilots operate in some of the most dangerous parts of the world – and they have to be the best. For every flight they need to wear specialised clothing and carry equipment that protects them and helps them to complete their mission.

Saab is offering you the chance to find out what it takes to enter the cockpit by dressing your own pilot – you’ll even get the chance to see what you look like as a Gripen fighter pilot and share the image with your friends.

To start, click here.​

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